When the Detroit Tigers had a new natural grass field installed at Comerica Park, the responsibility for overseeing the project was left to Heather Nabozny, Head Groundskeeper and long-time member of the Sports Turf Managers Association.
Nabozny is one of only two female Head Groundskeepers at MLB stadia across the US and she has spent the last 14 seasons with the Tigers.
This year, Comerica Park will host 82 home games, 12 high school games, 24 corporate batting practices, three concerts and many other events.
The natural grass field was replaced for this season with more than 650 tons of sod and organic material (or 30 semi-truckloads). Three weeks leading up to Opening Day, Nabozny’s team of six full-time employees and several temps worked 80-90 hour weeks to ensure the field was ready on March 31.
Nabozny said of the project:
I was looking forward to getting a new field, truthfully. It’s been a little more challenging, with the weather, than I’d like. It’s not ideal trying to replace it in the springtime. But at the same time, the root zone got to settle all winter long, so we weren’t taking out a field, putting a new field in in the spring, so it was able to settle.